character, child, child dies, consequence, death, death of a child, forgiveness, forgiving, justice, mercy, parenting, parents, penalty, personal accountability, personal responsibility, punishment, responsibility, revenge, vengeance
a little 4-yo boy named Cooper died yesterday after being Life-flighted to Primary Children’s Hospital in SLC.
I didn’t know this child or his family, but my sister did, and she’s grieving for her friend’s loss. Cooper’s mother was actually there when the events transpired that would take her son’s life, and frankly, I don’t see how she had the self-control not to attack the person who did it. but who REALLY did it? you tell me:
a 15-yo unlicensed driver was speeding through the neighbourhood wasn’t watching where he was going, ran over Cooper (who was riding his bike) w/the minivan he was driving, and then backed over Cooper again b/c he wasn’t sure what he’d run over. this was not the first time the teenager had gotten into trouble for driving w/o a license.
so who’s to blame? the unlicensed 15-yo kid who was speeding didn’t see a young child on a bike, or the irresponsible parents who let their child break the law and kill another child?
and don’t try to offer up the argument that maybe the 15-yo stole the minivan so his parents aren’t responsible b/c they didn’t know; if a 15-yo is also now guilty of (possibly two counts of) grand theft auto, the parents are still responsible for not teaching their child correct principles!
I’m sick and tired of sloppy, slipshod parenting. I’m tired of having to fight an uphill battle w/my own children b/c other parents are overly indulgent, inappropriately permissive, or downright negligent. and I’m positively ILL that some careless parent allowed their child to take another child’s life, even by accident. as much as I despise Hillary Clinton and her socialist politics, I do agree that it takes a village to raise our children: we need to hold each other ACCOUNTABLE as parents, and we need to reinforce simple human values and basic rights — like “everyone has the right to be alive,” “everyone has the right to overcome suffering,” etc. — to other people’s children, especially when other parents have neglected their responsibility to teach their own children.
UPDATE: I’m actually having a really hard time w/this, b/c there are some things that are coming up in this case that shouldn’t be. first of all, the race of the driver and his family is totally irrelevant — I thought we were past all of that now, people… the colour of someone’s skin or the shape of their nose or their eyes or whatever has absolutely NOTHING to do w/their abilities or responsibilities, or lack thereof, or whatever… secondly, I’ve found out that the roads in Saratoga Springs are considered private roads, as opposed to public roads, which means they’re actually subject to different laws, and the age of drivers permitted on private roads is NOT the same as for public roads (it’s younger, tho’ I don’t know how much younger)…
the REAL issue is, very simply, that one American citizen, subject to American law, has deprived another American citizen of his life. period. that’s all. and that’s all justice should care about.
mercy, on the other hand, is something that I believe only Cooper’s parents ought to be able to mete out, and it would appear that they may be leaning that direction, which is quite remarkable to me, but I can almost understand where they’re coming from: sending the driver or his parents to jail will devastate that family, even if only mere financial impact is taken into consideration, and Cooper’s parents seem to feel that enough devastation has already occurred in their community. these people all know each other, live in the same neighbourhoods, attend church together, and yet lines are being drawn and sides are being taken, in some cases over things that are completely and utterly irrelevant. “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted…Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy…Blessed are the peace makers: for they shall be called the children of God” (Matt 5:4, 7 & 9). perhaps Cooper’s parents are seeking solace and comfort in their faith, since justice can only do so much; it certainly can’t restore their son to them. I don’t think they’ll seek the harshest penalty the law can administer — they’re not out for revenge; I think they’ll ask justice to be tempered w/mercy, and that’s their prerogative: someone will still pay the consequence for Cooper’s death, but that person won’t have to bear the full weight of what the law could impose b/c the victim’s parents may allow some leniency. and that could make all the difference, for both families, and for their whole community.